Clifford Chance leads £320m sale of 125 Old Broad St to Blackstone

Clifford Chance has led on property investment company Blackstone’s £320m acquisition of 125 Old Broad Street from Brookfield Property Partners.

The 328,000sq ft office building is home to the headquarters of property company DTZ, as well as Gide Loyrette Nouel and best friends Chiomenti and Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira; King & Spalding; and Uría Menéndez.

Clifford Chance commercial real estate partner Mark Payne led on the deal with senior associate Nick Redman. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is thought to have advised Blackstone on the tax and financial due diligence aspects.

Macfarlanes acted for Brookfield Property Partners, led by head of real estate Ian Nisse with corporate partner Nicholas Barclay, senior associate Catriona Berman and junior associate Neetu Chadha.

The deal exchanged on Friday 25 July and is due to close shortly.

Last week it was also reported that Blackstone had acquired Max Property Group in a £447.7m deal that comprised the acquisition of subsidiary MPG Opco and externally managed Prestbury Investments.

For this deal Blackstone turned to Allen & Overy. M&A partner George Knighton led the team, including commercial real estate partner Christopher Woolf and associate Alex Tilley. Simpson Thacher again advised Blackstone on the financial aspects of the deal.

Berwin Leighton Paisner advised Max Property Group led by co-head of corporate finance Ben Lee, with corporate finance partner Richard Werner, corporate finance of counsel Jonathan Mendelow and associate Siobhan Ferguson.

Clifford Chance also advised Blackstone when it acquired €6.4bn of mortgages from Spanish state-owned Catalunya Banc as part of the lender’s €1.2bn Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria sell-off earlier this week (28 July 2014).

Background to the deal:

Blackstone have made a series of major acquisitions this year including the £165m acquisition of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Canary Wharf base from Evans Randall and the £300m acquisition of Alban Gate from Carlyle.

Clifford Chance has advised on a number of transactions for Blackstone in the last two years, particularly within the real estate sector. The magic circle firm’s Spanish offices have advised on several smaller deals in that time, thanks to an initial referral from Clifford Chance’s City outpost. Meanwhile, Blackstone continues to have close ties to firms including Simpson Thacher and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The Max Property deal was the first time Blackstone had instructed Allen & Overy’s Knighton on the M&A side. The work came through an internal referral from real estate finance partner Arthur Dyson, who has worked with the client for several years.  

Historically Blackstone turns to Simpson Thacher for advice on financing, anti-trust, tax and financial due diligence.